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GE Wins More than $600 Million in Contracts to Support Expansion of Brazil’s Pre-Salt Oil and Gas Fields

April 3, 2013

  • Contracts Signed to Date are Worth More than $600 Million
  • GE Will Build Propulsion, Dynamic Positioning, Vessel Automation and Drilling Systems for at Least 22 Drillships and Semi-Submersibles Destined to Work in the Region
  • GE Technology, Expertise in the Field and Local Production Key to Growth
  • Business Expected to Grow as Projects Continue to Expand

PARIS—April 3, 2013—GE’s Power Conversion business (NYSE: GE) is proving to be an ideal partner for builders and operators of drillships and semi-submersibles. In the last 12 months, GE has won contracts valued at more than $600 million to provide propulsion systems with customers leading the pre-salt oilfield expansion off Brazil’s east coast. GE’s systems will power, propel, navigate, position and control drillships and also power and control the drilling process itself.

Today, GE is in the process of building systems for 22 of the 29 drillships for the current phase of the Brazilian oil and gas exploration by Brazilian energy corporation Petrobras.

“Our advanced power generation, propulsion technology, drilling drives, dynamic positioning (DP) and automation and control systems are being harnessed to improve today’s marine and offshore processes with cleaner, more productive vessels,” says Paul English, GE’s Power Conversion, marine business leader.

“Vessel builders are coming to GE because it has proven equipment and systems, it has considerable experience in supplying equipment for use in deep domains, it is a flexible engineering partner with very strong technical credentials and has a record of supplying on time and within budget. One of our unique specialities is that we design and deliver complete integrated electrical and control systems packages in house—our single-source approach significantly relieves shipbuilders of much of the technical and commercial risk and effort associated with managing and coordinating multiple individual equipment suppliers.”

The four most important contracts won by GE in recent months related to the Brazilian pre-salt oil and gas exploration venture by Brazilian energy corporation Petrobras, include:

  • Seven “Espadon 200” drillships to be built by Estaleiro Atlântico Sul (EAS) in Ipojuca, northeast Brazil will be supplied with electrical power generation, propulsion, drilling drives. DP and control systems from GE.

  • Ecovix-Engevix will use integrated electric power and propulsion, drilling drives, DP and controls packages from GE for three new GustoMSC PRD 12000 ultra-deepwater drillships it is building in Rio Grande, in the south of the country.

  • Enseada do Paraguaçu Shipyard will use a comprehensively integrated package of electric power, propulsion, drilling drives, DP and control systems from GE for six new ultra-deepwater drilling ships (also GustoMSC PRD 12000 design) it is building in Maragogipe, northeast Brazil.

  • Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd will use GE’s thruster power, propulsion and drilling drive technology for six new, semisubmersible drilling rigs being built for Brazil’s national oil company Petrobras. Keppel is a leading designer and builder of high-performance, mobile offshore rigs.

Petrobras is searching for hydrocarbons up to 300 kilometers (km) off the coast of Brazil, in rock formations up to 5 km below the seabed and in water depths of up to 2,000 meters. The pre-salt layer holds an estimated 10–16 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Exploration and recovery of these reserves are expected to require the construction of around 40 new drilling vessels between now and 2020. The Brazilian government is calling for local content to be used as much as possible in these vessels.

A large part of GE’s Power Conversion operations for production and support of systems for the pre-salt are located in Brazil. The company has operated manufacturing facilities in Brazil for more than 30 years, including production facilities in Betim (near Belo Horizonte), and in Campinas, 60 miles from Sao Paulo City, GE’s Americas center of excellence for medium- and high-voltage induction motors employs 1,200 people.

About GE Power Conversion

GE’s Power Conversion business applies the science and systems of power conversion to help drive the electrification of the world’s energy infrastructure by designing and delivering advanced motor, drive and control technologies that evolve today’s industrial processes for a cleaner, more productive future. Serving specialized sectors such as energy, marine, oil and gas, and industry, through customized solutions and advanced technologies, GE Power Conversion partners with customers to maximize efficiency. To learn more, please visit: www.gepowerconversion.com.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com.

Follow GE’s Energy Management business on Twitter @GE_EnergyMgmt.

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